After washing out two weeks ago, the Madison County portion of Jack Creek Road east of Ennis is open.
The road, which is partly the responsibility of Madison County and partly under the ownership of Moonlight Basin, washed out in one place and was damaged in others as snowmelt and rain pushed the swift-running Jack Creek into a muddy torrent causing damage to road infrastructure along with minor flooding.
“The road crew in conjunction with a private contractor have essentially repaired not only the initial erosion, but there were a few other spots that were created as a result of debris floating down through the creek,” said Madison County Commissioner Jim Hart.
Officials from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Dillon inspected the roadwork last week, Hart said. The work passed inspection and the county portion of the road is open again to the public.
Jack Creek Road connects the Big Sky community with Madison Valley and though the road is private for several miles, it serves as an emergency access should something happen to Montana Highway 64, which connects Big Sky with Highway 191, said Kevin Germain, spokesman for Moonlight Basin Resort.
“We use it primarily to get to and from work, but it also serves a secondary purpose,” he said.
When the road washed out, Madison County officials contacted Moonlight immediately, Germain said. In an effort to help address the situation the resort provided some equipment to the road repair effort.
Jack Creek Road also provides access to a handful of homes and ranches in Jack Creek Canyon. Last year Madison County replaced two bridges on the road. Both bridges survived the high water, though they required additional re-enforcement, Hart said.